Kuih KapitClamps

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

In Malaysia, my aunts sold kuih kapit at the night markets. In English, these paper-thin crispy biscuits are called love letters. Kuih refers to a bite sized snack. My aunts quickly made these using an electronic maker. My mom started to make these biscuits every Chinese New Year when she moved to the United States in 1986. She made them traditional way: iron molds with ornate designs. Each clamp had a different meaning or symbol behind it that would be etched into each biscuit. Making them was very time consuming, but eating them happened in no time. My mom would hover over the stove for hours, pouring the batter on the molds, flipping them, trimming the excess batter, and folding the circular biscuit into quarters within a split second to get its signature shape. Sometimes, my sisters and I would form an assembly line and folded the biscuits with our fingers wrapped in tissues to prevent our fingers from getting burned. I would also eat each one as they came fresh off the stove top and the whole batch would be gone in the blink of an eye. The aroma of the coconut milk and the pandan leaves just bring me back to when I spent summers with my family in Malaysia, without a care in the world.

Year: 2006

– Kimberly

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant